March 14, 1938 ~ January 18, 2000

Born in: Chicago, IL,
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Asheville - Diane P. Modaff, 61, of 124 Stuyvesant Road, died Tuesday, January 18, 2000 at her residence. She was afflicted with a very rare neurological disease, olivo ponto cerebellar atrophy (OPCA) since 1995. The disease is a degeneration of the cerebellum portion of the brain, which coordinates voluntary movements and balance, and is a form of Ataxia. A native of Chicago, IL, she was the daughter of Helen L. Swift of Bloomington, IL and of the late Clyde K. Swift, who died in 1993. She moved to Asheville in 1987 and was the retired president of Friday Staffing Services with offices in Asheville, Brevard, Hendersonville, Marion and Morganton. She was a member of St. Barnabas Catholic Church and of the Country Club of Asheville. After the birth of their children, Diane received and Associates of Science degree from Elgin Community College. For many years, she taught children of special needs. She loved nature, taking many long walks along the Blue Ridge Trails. She traveled extensively, seeing most of the United States during family trips while the children were young and then visiting Great Britain, France and the Caribbean among other places in life. She was an avid photographer and golfer. She enjoyed the company of good friends and sharing time with all her family. She will be deeply missed by those who loved her deeply. In addition to her mother, she is survived by her husband, John W. Modaff, whom she married in Wheaton, IL on July 25, 1959 which was one of the happiest days of her life ; her son, David P. Modaff, his wife Julie and their children, Caitlyn, Jacob and Deanne of Oakwood Hills, IL; her daughter, Lynda L. Modaff, her husband Steven O’Loughlin and their daughter Haley of Los Angeles, CA. Mrs. Modaff is also survived by her brother, David M. Swift and his wife Betty of Bloomington, IL. She was preceded in death by a brother Bruce in 1961. Visitation will be at 10 am Saturday followed by A Mass Of Christian Burial at 11 am in St. Barnabas Catholic Church, 109 Crescent Hill Drive, Arden with the Rev. Father Roger Arnsparger officiating. Interment will follow in Riverside Cemetery. Memorials to help find a cure for Ataxia (a Greek word for lack of coordination) may be made to the National Ataxia Foundation, 2600 Fernbrook Lane, Suite 119, Minneapolis, MN 55447-4752. More information may be obtained from their web site at The family of Mrs. Modaff also may be contacted at their email address, Groce Funeral home at Lake Julian is in charge of arrangements.

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline
  • Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, png, gif.
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


  1. John, Barry and I feel so sad for you and your family. Please know that we are praying for you and wishing we could help in some way. Take care. Elizabeth and Barry.

  2. I have only been with Friday since October but am very conscious of the legacy Diane Modaff leaves this fine company. My deepest sympathy to the family.

  3. I am sorry for your loss, I am sure Diane will be greatly missed. There is nothing that can be said or done to ease your pain but please try to take comfort in the fact that she is no longer suffering. She is now at peace with God, watching over her whole family especially her four grandchildren who I am sure she treasured.

    My sincere sympathy
    Coreen & Steven Hayes

  4. She was one of the most outgoing people I ever meet and I was blessed to called her my aunt. God has called you home. We will miss you dearly.


Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook